The Chamber of Deputies of Chile has approved a bill that will “prohibit agreements between sports clubs and betting houses”, aiming to minimise match-fixing threats and protect minors from exposure to online gambling.
The Bill will now progress to the Senate for its legislative review before being submitted to Parliament to be debated and voted on.
“The Chamber of Deputies has approved the bill that prohibits the presence of online betting house advertising in sports events and clubs, corresponding to bulletin N°14.892-29,” read the summary of the Bill (Official Document 18.313).
Headline measures call for a ban on advertising/marketing of online bookmakers across all sports disciplines in Chile, a condition that must be followed by “clubs, associations, sports federations, national sports federations, sports joint-stock companies, corporations, foundations, professional sports funds, concessionaires, and related institutions, regardless of the type of sport.”
The Bill’s sponsors believe that “betting houses earnings are reliant on client outcomes”, and expressed that “there is a fine line where an arrangement in a result might occur.” A concern that underlines “the potential risks of match-fixing and emphasises the necessity for stringent regulations.”.
As such, the Bill prohibits the participation of people involved in sports organisations, including those who have shares in sports clubs, to have a direct-or-indirect relationship with an online betting platform.
The text outlined that a prohibition will extend to team clothing and equipment manufacturers, as well as any type of advertising in stadiums or of sports facilities.
Penalties outlined for infringement include fines ranging from “150 to 2000 monthly tax units”. In case of recidivism, double the fine will be applied. Professional sports bodies that violate the regulations will be sanctioned with removal from the register of professional sports organisations.
Amongst the sponsors is Deputy Marisela Santibáñez, who emphasised the importance of maintaining sports integrity, saying, “Sport must be positive and aim for good values and not encourage betting.”
Deputy Roberto Arroyo reinforced the idea of strict regulations, mentioning that except for the Chilean Charity Sweepstakes and casinos, betting is illegal and should not operate. “[Bets] have mocked the Sports Commission and this Chamber,” he said.
An urgent call has been made to regulate existing agreements between Chilean sports entities and betting houses to prevent corruption and improve the protection of minors, specifically addressing the “few requirements” that are in place at present.
During its assessment in Chambers, Deputy Juan Antonio Coloma explicitly requested to prohibit existing agreements between betting houses and sports “regardless of the illegality” of existing contracts.
Coloma remarked, “This must be regulated urgently because it opens up a huge space for corruption. Subsequently, it should be considered to approve an indication that allows delivering a term for the current contracts to end.”